Appreciation is among the most positive of attitudes; it effects our mindset and contributes to our overall health. It’s a time-out to recognize what we value and are grateful for. The Austrian psychiatrist Viktor Frankl was a prime example of the transformative power of appreciation. With its practice, even just for moments at a time, he was able to elevate his spirits and get through his imprisonment in a Nazi death camp. He survived to demonstrate this power of appreciation in his writings and subsequent career.
Most of us don’t have anywhere near that horror to rise above but have everyday challenges and stress that can simply wear us down. The perception of what we care about or honor can inspire us and lift our mood so that the day gets just a bit better from then on. By recognizing what is important to us we find meaning and richness in ordinary life: our families, work we love, challenges we’ve been able to overcome or even the bee outside our window pollinating a flower.
Appreciation can actually be practiced with the intention of strengthening the heart. During this practice, threatening messages coming from the parts of our brain geared to ‘fight or flight’ can be short-circuited because appreciation and the state of fear cannot coexist within our neural network. The heart has the ability to send messages to the brain via the spinal cord through the vagus nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body. Because of this feedback loop, the heart overrides fear messages from the brain of the type that put stress on our hearts. When we hold a space for appreciation, the heart works harmoniously with the neural and endocrine systems to bring about an experience that affects us in a deeply positive way.
What are three things you can stop to appreciate right at this moment?
Carey O’Rielly DDS has been a practicing dentist for 35 years. He went to USC Dental School and Duke University for his undergraduate degree. He grew up in Laguna Beach and now lives in La Costa with his wife Victoria, who runs his office.
He began his career by owning and operating a network of six offices in the San Francisco Bay Area. Presently he owns a private holistic practice in North County San Diego’s Encinitas.
Dr. O started looking for solutions to his health challenges that resulted from the stress and environmental toxicity that built up over a ten year period running his dental network. He has dedicated himself to learning about oral systemic problems and how dentistry can affect your health. He has applied what he has learned over the last twenty years to ensure he, his staff and his patients are protected from the chemicals and toxic materials found in most dental offices. He has produced an environmentally friendly office that is also peaceful and calm.
He is an expert on dental materials having looked at hundreds of biocompatibility lab tests over the years. He has identified the most bio-friendly materials to use in his practice and which dental materials can be used to replace metal fillings and crowns, including BPA free and fluoride free ‘white’ fillings. He also uses metal-free Zirconia or ceramic implants and PRF (platelet-rich fibrin) grafting materials which come from the patient’s own blood.
Dr. O’Rielly teaches C.E. courses on the systemic effects of gum disease. He is an expert in using phase contrast microscopy for analyzing dental infections, where he shows patients what kind of microbes, i.e. bacteria, amoeba, and yeasts like candida are populating the mouth and affecting the body as a whole.
He has an educational blog and is writing a book on dental health called ‘Hidden Dental Infections: Healing Root Canals and Infected Teeth with the Erbium Laser’ where he discusses dental nutrition, toxic dental materials and the effects of old root canals on inflammation and overall health.